The CRTC has turned down a bid by Slice to reduce its annual Cancon requirements to 60% from the current 82.5%. The regulator also rejected the specialty channel's request to spend just 45% of the previous year's gross revenues on Canadian content, down from 71%.
Owner Canwest Communications argued that Slice's programming expenditures and its Canadian content requirements were the highest of all specialty channels, and that the channel had lost $5.5 million in operating income from 2005. The broadcaster's seven-year projections also showed an operating profit of between -8.3% and 2.2% beginning in 2010.
However, the CRTC ruled that Canwest was well aware of these commitments when it acquired the channel in 2007, and the requirements are a result of a competitive licensing process.